Raf Simons Embraces American Horror Films and Andy Warhol’s Death and Disaster
“Fashion shouldn’t just be the way America wants it to be. ‘It’s gonna be great, it’s gonna be amazing, it’s gonna be beautiful!’” quipped Raf Simons. So he screen printed images of car crashes and scary newspaper headlines from the 1960s of shocking deaths that appeared in major newspapers. There were also images of Andy Warhol’s dark portraits of Sandra Brant and Dennis Hopper which pay tribute to the collection’s muses.
That provided the setting for the show, “Sweet Dreams,” inspired by Hollywood horror genre films and “its depictions of both an American nightmare, and the all-powerful American dream.” An interesting premise that could have gone in many directions — fun, deep, eerie. “Deep” most suits Simons’ vernacular, and so it was, a thoughtful juxtaposition of a pleasant facade with a disturbing underbelly, realized via a collaboration with the Andy Warhol Foundation. Simons used images from the artist’s “Death and Disaster” series to recontextualize clothes that ranged from ethereal (ghostly, billowing nightgowns) to cool co-ed denim. Compelling, definitely — maybe too much so. Who wouldn’t feel creeped out if a Tinder date showed up wearing a car crash?
“It’s about American horror and American beauty. Fashion tries to hide the horror and embrace only beauty. But they are both a part of life. This collection is a celebration of that: a celebration of American life.”